Cobra Kai Season 6 Date Announcement

Cobra Kai season 5 Written and Video Reviews

 

Ralph Macchio as DANIEL in COBRA KAI

The wait is finally over. Cobra Kai season 5 drops on September 9, 2022. Whatever your dojo, fans of the show are in for a treat. It's the moment of truth. I've watched the show, and let me tell you, season 5 is the best season yet. I've been a part of the hype since the beginning when the first trailer dropped on YouTube Red, and in my wildest dreams, some of what comes to pass is beyond my wildest imagination.

This was my first time being allowed to review Cobra Kai early. Grab some grape Uncrustables (you'll know soon enough) and pull up a spot on the Okinawan sparring deck. Welcome to my season 5  review (spoilers ahead). 

[L-R] Ralph Macchio as DANIEL, Yuji Okumoto as CHOZEN in COBRA KAI

Synopsis

The worst has happened. The battle for the Soul of the Valley has ended with Cobra Kai hailing as grand champion. Daniel (Ralph Macchio) and Johnny (William Zabka) have no choice but to close Miyagi-Do and Eagle Fang dojos.

Johnny hits the road to fulfill his promise to find Miguel (Xolo Mariduena), who has fled to Mexico in search of his father. Johnny takes Robby (Tanner Buchanan) along for the ride, hoping for some father-son bonding time and also to heal the chasm between these two teenagers.

Defeat does not exist in Miyagi-Do, however. Daniel calls in his enemy-turned-ally Chozen (Yuji Okumoto), hoping the two of them can take down Cobra Kai and Terry Silver (Thomas Ian Griffith) through the back channels.

Meanwhile, Kreese (Martin Kove) is now in prison and is determined to make a good impression so he can get out early.

There's much more to the story, of course. When season 4 ended, Tory (Peyton List) discovered she won the girl's competition through cheating, Kenny (Dallas Dupree Young) finally stood up to his bully, and Terry Silver now gets to be the evil overlord unbound. Meanwhile, Stingray (Paul Walter Hauser) has gone along with Silver's plan to name Kreese as the aggressor who landed him in the hospital. There's plenty of drama to go around. So never fear. All of your favorite characters get moments to shine. With new faces popping up, the showrunners do need to shuffle some of the players in this drama from the front to the side, which segues nicely into the best characters this season.

[L-R] Ralph Macchio as DANIEL, Yuji Okumoto as CHOZEN, Courtney Henggeler as AMANDA, William Zabka as JOHNNY in COBRA KAI

And the nominees for best character are …

Anthony LaRusso (Griffin Santopietro) finally takes baby steps into becoming a character we can root for. After being sidelined for three seasons, in season 4, he became a bully in his own right – picking on new kid Kenny. He feels bad about his actions, (or, at least, for getting caught) and is trying to figure out his next steps. The traditional Miyagi-Do training techniques Daniel has always employed may not work on Anthony, but he has some unique skills that have been untapped thus far.

Likewise, Kenny will need to figure out his way now that his latest mentor, Tanner, has taken a step back from Cobra Kai. At each turn, Kenny has been left alone. With Dad on military deployment and older brother in juvenile detention, Kenny found new strength in learning from Tanner and senseis Kreese and Silver. Now that his dojo parents are all split up, where will Kenny look to for direction now? Kenny definitely has one of the more interesting character arcs this season.

The showrunners continue to give Tory (Peyton List) generous helpings of material. In season four, we saw there was more to Tory than just a tough girl with a dog-eats-dog mentality. Each season, I find myself admiring Tory more. She hasn't always handled conflict in the best way (Is Miguel really worth fighting over?) But one moment of empathy from Amanda seems to have given her some insight into a new way of doing things. Despite her flaws, Tory has an ethical compass, and if you cross that, watch out.

Chozen really steps into the role of Miyagi-Do heir apparent. While he isn't a bonsai trimming peacemaker like Mr. Miyagi, there are times when he takes on the role of protector of and buffer to Daniel. Daniel's impulsive nature is balanced by Chozen's more methodical and strategic approach. Yuji Okumoto puts in the work to show this character to be someone who has carried a lifetime of regret, but channeled that regret into healing and rising above. He carries the appropriate demeanor of someone who has well-deserved wisdom that only comes from putting in the work to rise above obstacles and become a better person. 

Thomas Ian Griffith as TERRY SILVER in COBRA KAI

Terry Silver always brings the juice, but Thomas Ian Griffith is on fire this season. The way he delivers his lines makes for some great drama. His chemistry with Chozen is readily apparent. And if you ever wanted a bring back of the Terry Silver steambath scene, this is your moment!

Of course, the show cannot exist without Daniel and Johnny. Johnny continues to bring all the humor that comes with being a Generation X Rocky stan living in the digital age. The end of season four saw Johnny finally getting a chance to be a father to Robby. Johnny wants to be a role model to the young people in his life, but we have to remember that Johnny never had a good mentor. This is all new to him. He's had bumps and bruises along the way, but he does seem to learn from his mistakes.

The time that Johnny and Daniel trained together bore much more fruit than either of them realized. Even after they split up the dojos, Daniel began to employ a more forceful approach (with Anthony), while Johnny is learning to take a more circuitous route. This season shows the two of them growing in their appreciation of one another and delivering a new level of bromance.

But at the heart, this season belongs to Daniel. Cobra Kai started on the premise that Johnny wasn't as bad as we remembered, and Daniel not as perfect. The series flipped the script by continuing to highlight the ways Daniel sabotages the good he could do. He rushes into things, always thinks he's right, and doesn't stop to question if he's on the right path. As an adult, he's been somewhat stunted since Mr. Miyagi's death. He wants to honor the legacy of Mr. Miyagi, so sometimes tries to copy his ways exactly. But all along, Mr. Miyagi was trying to tell him that at some point, he needs to choose for himself. "One day, you choose own way grow." This season, sees Daniel grow into that promise and become the bonsai tree that Mr. Miyagi always believed he was.

[Center] Yuki Okumoto as CHOZEN in COBRA KAI

What to Expect from this Season

  • New team ups
  • Epic fights with emotional weight, making use of new weapons not seen on Cobra Kai
  • Callbacks to the movies, including quotes, parallel moments, and costumes.
  • Characters use storytelling as a tool for spreading legacy.
  • Followers becoming leaders
  • A deeper exploration of the relationship between Kreese and Silver
  • Much-needed comeuppance
  • New karate lessons
  • Theme of deception
  • Increasing the mythos of this world 

Season 5 is truly the best season yet, and I'm not sure how they can top this season. But if anyone can, it's these hard-working showrunners.

Season 5 discussion with Harrison Martin




Spoiler-Free Video Review (if you prefer)




Release info: Season 5 drops on Netflix September 9, 2022

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